Welcome back to another week of creating your best life and speaking of that, for those of you in the states, how was your long holiday weekend with your spouse? What things are coming up for you after three days with the one you want that loving relationship with? Let me suggest, if you haven’t already, that you download my free Abundant Love Mini-Course which will help you take a look at those thoughts and help you decide if you want to keep them, maybe you do, but it will also help you remember and to focus on the thoughts that you love thinking about your marriage. It is 100% possible that right now you have zero positive thoughts about your marriage and the good news is that this is ok and yes, there is still hope. If I could do it in my marriage then there for sure is hope for you and your marriage. Today I’m going to help you figure out how to feel more satisfied in your marriage but before we do that I want to pause for a moment to talk about your marriage goals.
As we launch into the second half of this year it’s the perfect time to take a look at where you’ve come with your marriage goals over the past six months and decide if you want to make any adjustments to your plan moving forward. It’s a great time to look at how you are keeping your marriage goals a priority and in what ways you may not be. Take some time to write down what feels good about what is working and how you will get better at keeping your marriage goals in the forefront of your mind, then get specific, write down your plan! Quick, brief, and important work to do if you want to end the year feeling good about what you did to make your life feel better. Maybe part of that plan is to work through the Abundant Love Mini-Course or listen through the AwakenYou episodes or better yet, schedule a mini-coaching session to get clarity on your next steps.
With that settled, let’s talk about how to feel satisfied in your marriage and why you don’t feel satisfied. If you’ve been listening for a while you already know that most of us go about trying to feel loved by our spouse in all of the wrong ways, that’s why most of us are unhappy in our marriages. We want them to show us love in ways that make us feel loved and if they don’t then we’re going to feel empty and angry, disappointed, resentful, and what else? Maybe even take some time to write about all of the reasons you don’t feel satisfied, this will give you so much insight, especially if the majority are things that you can’t control.
From the Five Love Languages we can learn what our love languages are and either together or by ourselves we can figure out what our spouse’s love languages are. This gives us a better understanding of ourselves and our spouse, but then here’s how things might go wrong: we expect them to fulfill these love needs for us. Maybe we want them to share words of affirmation with us or to touch us, maybe take care of some tasks around the house or errands, or get us all sorts of special gifts and spend good, quality time with us. Or maybe this is what’s happening: we are fulfilling their love language in a way that feels obligational and wondering why they aren’t responding! These languages are for awareness, not to be carried out without a sense of love without something needed in return.
Today I want to look at the difference between feeling lacking or deprived in our marriage versus feeling satisfied. I am going to explain the two different ends of the spectrum, then help you see which one feels more empowering to you, and lastly, I’ll give you some action steps to start stepping out of deprivation and into satisfaction with how loved you feel.
Ways we feel loved
When we feel insecure and dissatisfied with how our spouse is providing us with a sense of love we often have a good idea of what we would like more of and we want our spouses to do more of those things. I’d suggest you write these things down and ask yourself why you need them to do these things, it might be a stretch for you right now, but could you imagine feeling loved without them doing these things for you? Maybe you want to read The Five Love Languages to help get a better idea of what both of your love languages are, it’s a great awareness tool when used appropriately and that’s what I want to dig into, the best way to get the love you want so you can feel satisfied.
When we feel like our partner is lacking in the “giving love” department our desire for them to change is coming from a lack of satisfaction. Abraham Maslow talks about how when we are in this deficient state everything else gets shadowed, we are hyperfocused on what we aren’t getting while not seeing what we are getting. The longer we focus on our lacking the more we become defensive of our needs. Our system gets quite good at focusing on what is wrong so it can correct itself, unfortunately, in our marriages this will usually get us further away from what it is we want. The way we end up acting when we feel deficient makes us look needy and demanding, often making our spouses feel insufficient like you’re telling them they’re not good enough. You know how you show up when someone is making you feel like you aren’t fulfilling their needs very well. When we are acting from a place of fear, anxiety, and suspicion, constantly making demands on reality, our partners don’t react so well, it pushes them to do the opposite of what we want.
Now, I’d like you to take a moment to think about this state of defensiveness you may be in and ask yourself how it feels. Check in with your body, what is it telling you? Are you closed off or open? This is where many of my clients state that they feel powerless to change their situation and it’s because we are trying to control our outcome through the actions of others which is never a powerful place to get what you want.
Here is where our work within begins, when we don’t know how to provide ourselves with what we are wanting our spouses to give us, we will always be needing from a place of lack. We will always be empty vessels until we learn how to fill ourselves up from within.
Deficiency needs have us starved while using our partner to provide us with something we aren’t providing for ourselves.
Maslow talks about looking within while understanding that everything we need is available inside of us and that when we move from defensive wisdom to growth wisdom, we start to see things a bit more clearly. We start to feel a bit more open and accepting of the way things are while figuring out how to love ourselves in the middle of this pain. When we look at where we are from a place of growth we start asking ourselves better questions like “What can I do right now to make myself feel better?” instead of “What can I do to prove they are doing it wrong?”
Do you feel the difference between those two questions? One comes from a place of abundance while the other is controlling and manipulative.
From this perspective shift, we can see our lack of power to get our love requirements filled through demands or shaming while getting to the work of learning how to fill ourselves up with love and self-compassion. As we fill ourselves up we grow more loving towards ourselves and others, and we become more emotionally available, more empathetic, and patient which has us better expressing how we are feeling and what we would love to have happen in our marriage. We get better at giving love without needing anything in return and while we do that we get in return more of what we want.
As we get to this space of learning how to supply ourselves with continual love and compassion we learn how to become more open and honest about our wants and desires while making requests in a non-threatening way which opens us up to more of what we want in our marriage.
How to start taking steps away from lacking towards satisfaction
Start with noticing when you feel unloved. Take some time to notice and better understand where you are operating from: fear, blame, expectation? It’s 100% normal, most of us have safety and security concerns, but just take time to notice and then take some time to write about what you were expecting and how this expectation feels. Notice:
- What they were doing or not doing?
- What you were thinking about what they were doing?
- See if you can figure out how this made you feel, even better, see if you can go into your body and describe what your body felt like
- How do you want to act in this situation?
- What would be the most loving thing you could do for yourself in this moment?
- Do that!
Notice what part you play in this pattern you and your spouse have developed. Once you are able to work through this pattern many times you’ll start seeing how you want to change your pattern. When you start changing your pattern you may realize you still have a desire for them to show you love in a certain way but the difference is that you no longer “need” it, you want it. This is where you can get open and vulnerable about your desires which has you powerfully influencing your marriage by helping your partner to be more vulnerable as well. It can help soften them up to the idea of shared love.
Most of us won’t step into the realm of growth and satisfaction because we are trained and evolved to be motivated by deficiency, but when we can see how awful this is making us feel, that is when we can step into our power and start changing our evolved selves and evolve into our new, fancier, more loving selves.
I am a marriage coach who helps women and couples go from feeling powerless to change how they feel about their marriage to feeling powerful and taking ownership of how they feel. My process isn’t about changing your partner; it’s about discovering who you are so that you can AwakenYou in your marriage, and through this process, you will begin to find that your partner will change as well! Schedule your free mini-coaching session today to discover how coaching can help you take your next steps forward toward what you want in your marriage.